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      12-27-2008, 07:11 AM   #1
parky
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Bmw 125i/135i or Audi S3..?

Hey all.. I was in the market for the Bmw 125i which with desired options is about 63k driveaway. I was considering stretching the budget and eating out less and getting 2009 S3 Sportsback DSG (stronic) which is 77k driveaway (most options) and about a 3 month wait. Or get the 135i which is about 80k driveaway (good options ticked)..

Now the thing is i was at the audi dealer today and he offered me a new 2008 S3 Manual Limited edition (sunroof, bucket seats, darkened wheels) for 65k driveaway. Now this one is not the just recently facelifted S3 with the daytime LED lights. I think the facelifted S3 is more A4 looking but still quite a small facelift.

Question is which car would you choose? I have thoughts about chipping the s3 to make more power and i am worried about if the dsg box can take 430nm once chipped. I know Bmw has better driver involvement and residual but this manual 2008 s3 is tempting me for the price ($65k) and chipped will make 236kw and 430nm.. damm im in decisive...

thoughts and advice please guys...
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      12-27-2008, 07:17 AM   #2
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I went to see the S3 too. I still cannot comprise in power. S3 is 188kW and the price difference in the Audi and BMW is not that much. I will on the 135i automatic with some useful options.

You will be surprised! I actually like the 135 automatic box! I test drove the Lexus ISF, which suppose to have some fancy double clutch 8 speed that changes within 0.1 of second. To me, I found the 135i is not that far off in manual mode you know.
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      12-27-2008, 08:32 AM   #3
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i absolutely loved my a3 with Revo chip but the DSG box shit the bed with less than 10k miles on it
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      12-27-2008, 08:33 AM   #4
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The 125i is not a bad car. Power is there but not as explosive as the 135i and since it is 17k cheaper for you, it might be a very good contender in your situation. Yes the Audi can be chipped but the inline six in the 125i is very very smooth, plus I am biased. Haha
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      12-27-2008, 08:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmj73 View Post
The 125i is not a bad car. Power is there but not as explosive as the 135i and the inline six in the 125i is very very smooth, plus I am biased. Haha


+1 :thumbup:
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      12-27-2008, 05:30 PM   #6
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If you also looking at the S3 why aren't you looking at the 130?
Interior the same as the 125 but with a little more mumbo and I think (may be wrong) the 130 is better kitted out than the 125.

I know these are not new but they are both nice cars;
http://ninemsn.carpoint.com.au/used-...sn6611220.aspx

http://ninemsn.carpoint.com.au/used-...sn6150080.aspx

http://ninemsn.carpoint.com.au/used-...sn6091650.aspx
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      12-27-2008, 05:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takahashi View Post
You will be surprised! I actually like the 135 automatic box! I test drove the Lexus ISF, which suppose to have some fancy double clutch 8 speed that changes within 0.1 of second. To me, I found the 135i is not that far off in manual mode you know.
+1

I drove an auto liberty GT and found the manual option was slow to change and the box always seemed to be caught in the wrong gear so I went back to manual and really enjoyed it. The 135 auto is great. Smooth fast changes and very manual like in auto except it changes faster than I ever could with a manual gear box. If you decide on the 128i I don't believe the manual gearbox is the same one in the 135i and may not be as enjoyable.
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      12-28-2008, 01:43 AM   #8
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Excuse my ignorance, is S3 now coming with DSG? I thought they are manual only in Australia.
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      12-28-2008, 01:54 AM   #9
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I chose the 135i over S3 with the extra kit you've been offered. However the additional power of the 135i won me over. I only test drove the manual S3.
I think the 135i has more scope for safe engine tuning.
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      12-28-2008, 02:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffforever View Post
Excuse my ignorance, is S3 now coming with DSG? I thought they are manual only in Australia.
No you can't test drive the DSG S3 yet. But I went into dealer last week and you can start ordering them.

They don't even have brochure or 0-100 figure or fuel economy. They are 99% sure they have the same power and yeah, if you are adventurous, you can be the 2nd or 3rd person ordered. I think one or 2 has been ordered (he showed me on the national ordered screen).
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      12-28-2008, 02:23 AM   #11
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Tough call. I drove the current model S3 just before the 135 came out and thought it was great. I was just about to put my money down when the 135 coupe was launched so I thought I'd better go test drive it.

135 is in my garage, which pretty much sums up the winner IMO. S3 is a good car, I just loved the 135 at first sight and was it's slave after first drive.
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      12-28-2008, 04:58 AM   #12
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IMHO 65k for an S3 drive away is a bargin. I paid 64k 2 years ago for an R32 DSG driveaway, I do silly things when I decide with my impulse rather than my head and wanted it when it was released and was in high demand.

I did like that interior of the VW, feels more polish and refined than the BMW. Some of the plastic definitely feels a bit harsh in the 135 now. And the instrument cluster in the BMW is a bit plain. I haven't owned an Audi but at the dealers it feels better than the VW.

Drivewise, I didn't like the 4WD system of the R32 that much, I believe it is the same in the S3, it is mostly FWD, but I had the Haldex upgrade and it made it a bit better. Fuel economy there is no comparison, the Audi wins.

Can't say much about the S3 with regards to handling, but the R32 was very porky and brake was very sensitive. Handling was no where as good as the RX8 I had before that. I still like the drive of the RX8 compared to the 135, feels more nimble and predictable.

What made me choose the 135 was the stork power, and rear wheel drive. The manual gear stick is a bit to long and the short shift kit is a must if you're going for the manual 135.

DSG on the R32 got a bit annoying after owning it for a while. While the unit still works great as expected, the response on downshift can be a bit slow in automatic mode and sometime it will make a big clunk when the computer doesn't know what to do. Also kick down can be slow sometime, again you can actually catch the computer off guard. Maybe the Audi unit is better but I believe it is the same mostly. Their new 7 Speed DSG sounds interesting with the dry clutch, but not sure if that's available yet. The DSG is definitely the best of both world, but for me who can only afford 1 car, I missed the manual after a while.

The new Nissan 370Z looks very promissing though, if they really have improved the interior, have to wait till I see it in person. Some videos review now say its better than the 135.
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      12-28-2008, 05:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by et381 View Post
The new Nissan 370Z looks very promissing though, if they really have improved the interior, have to wait till I see it in person. Some videos review now say its better than the 135.
I still think 135 looks better than 370Z with multiple attempt. I think there is nothing looks as bland as 135i haha.

370Z turn better because of better tyres. the RFT is not good until they are warm, and when they are warm, they wear out quick.
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      12-28-2008, 06:30 AM   #14
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This one looks freekin brilliant! Still love the look.
http://www.drive.com.au/used-cars/AU...095075336&pt=1
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      12-28-2008, 08:11 AM   #15
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That is very pricey for a 2.0T right? I cannot justify a $5K option for the Sat Nav...
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      12-28-2008, 01:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takahashi View Post
No you can't test drive the DSG S3 yet. But I went into dealer last week and you can start ordering them.

They don't even have brochure or 0-100 figure or fuel economy. They are 99% sure they have the same power and yeah, if you are adventurous, you can be the 2nd or 3rd person ordered. I think one or 2 has been ordered (he showed me on the national ordered screen).

Thanks for the information.

I also think 65k for S3 driveaway is a bargain. 125i money with more power and arguably higher quality interior. Not having driven an S3 it's difficult to compare the driving experience though.
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      12-28-2008, 09:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Breville View Post
This one looks freekin brilliant! Still love the look.
http://www.drive.com.au/used-cars/AU...095075336&pt=1

You know, I was thinking it was looking good too.

Then I saw you put an old fashioned key into the driving column... and then the asking price is $89k?

Push-button Start/Stop and BMW FTW!:thumbup:
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      12-28-2008, 09:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattyv View Post
Push-button Start/Stop and BMW FTW!:thumbup:
Once you have comfort entry, you will not go back.:thumbup:
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      12-28-2008, 10:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takahashi View Post
I went to see the S3 too. I still cannot comprise in power. S3 is 188kW and the price difference in the Audi and BMW is not that much. I will on the 135i automatic with some useful options.

You will be surprised! I actually like the 135 automatic box! I test drove the Lexus ISF, which suppose to have some fancy double clutch 8 speed that changes within 0.1 of second. To me, I found the 135i is not that far off in manual mode you know.
The IS-F just has a regular automatic gearbox, just like the optional steptronic on the 135i. It does have 8 speeds, though:

http://www.sportcompactcarweb.com/te...lexus_isf.html
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      12-28-2008, 11:04 PM   #20
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Good info. Then it is not a "regular" gear box ISF has haha. I thought it was double clutched + some tweak to make this fast. Did not you see the Top Gear review of the ISF???? It meant to really quick... it may not be a double clutch like the VW or the Audi's but close to it.

Lexus brochure says, "The IS F is equipped with an 8-speed Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission that upshifts in a mere 0.1 second, which is as fast as a manual in the hands of a top racing driver. Downshifts in a mere 0.3 seconds are accompanied by blips of the throttle (like a true race car) for smoother downshifting performance." Tell you what, combining the gearbox and the roaring V8 ( the salesman said the duo intake making all the noise), it is a fun car to drive. I will get it if $ allows and I can get pass that Toyota like interior..

Well I think the 135 goes up say 0.25 seconds and go down 0.45 seconds hehe.. .

I am going to Lexus tomorrow with my colleague and I will ask them technical details about the gear box. I wonder there is a display of the gear box better than the photo in your link.
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      12-29-2008, 12:36 AM   #21
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Audi S3 looks great. The BMW 130i is also a very nice car. Brilliant engine and works well mated to the auto.
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      12-29-2008, 12:58 AM   #22
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Mate, you're on a 1-series forum ... of course we're gonna back the 125/135!!! But maybe my experience can help persuade you ...

When I was looking for a car to replace my MINI Cooper S, the 125i Coupe, 135i Coupe, and S3 were all high on my short list. Others were Clio 197, Megane F1 R26, Cooper S JCW, RX-8, R32, Evo, and STi. Whatever it was had to have a useable back seat, so that immediately dismissed the TT, 350Z, etc. After many many years in exclusively FWD cars, I decided that it was time to try something different in either RWD or AWD. Basically, my current MINI already had as much grunt as a FWD car can cope with without inducing severe torque steer issues -- and I wanted something quicker. So that scratched Clio, Megane, and JCW. I was also after a quality/prestige feel to the interior and decent ride comfort, so that scratched the Evo and STi (too hardcore and "cheap" for my tastes). I also scratched the RX-8 on the basis of sub-par performance and poor fuel consumption, although it would have made a very tasty alternative.

So that left the S3, R32, 125i and 135i. Our other car is a Volvo V50 AWD so that provided a good background on how the Haldex system works ... enabling extrapolation to the S3 and R32. It's very useful in launching the car, but the rest of the time you're driving a FWD car. It's fairly quick to send torque to the rear in the corners, but I reckon you need a LOT more power than what I have in the V50 (162kW in-line 5cyl turbo) in order to maximise the effectiveness of the system. Not sure that the R32 or S3 have enough to make much extra difference. Many magazine reviews of the R32 I'd read suggested that the GTI was actually a better drive, and that wasn't encouraging considering that I was looking for a car with better track ability. Points off for the R32. Added to that, the S3 is said to have stiff ride, wooden steering, etc ... the Autocar review some time ago was influential. The interior quality or the Audi leaves BMW in the shade, but the exterior styling of both R32 and S3 are too boring for my tastes. The final straw was that I had found our local VW/Audi dealer to be unresponsive and unhelpful during previous visits, and I wasn't too keen to give them my business. Didn't even bother test-driving these two.

So that left me with the 125i or 135i. One drive in the 135i was all it took ... although I did have a second drive in another 135i just to make sure! If you can stretch your budget to a 135i, then go for it!

My advice to you ... try to figure out what it is that's most important in your buying decision and then match it against the car that fits best.
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